My poor blog - a distinct sense of having gone AWOL hovers. Sometimes, however, life just gets in the way and one simply has to get on with it. All things must pass . . . there have been tedious interruptions; minor surgery, for example, (nothing serious but I did have to wait nine dreary months). But there have been welcome and exciting (well, exciting for me) developments, not least the writing workshops I have been running in June and July, which have taken off in a way that I could hardly have dared imagine and of which more in another post.
For now, however, I am officially on my hols. Not away from home, per se, but with a most welcome guest staying: my Dear Friend in . . . well, what must we call her now, as she is leading a fairly peripatetic existence? I think, for the moment, she must be my Friend On The Road (to which we could legitimately add the words Less Travelled By). We travel well together and have taken lengthy road trips in the past, in India and South Africa, and, while she is here, we slip back easily into On the Road mode. This is England, however, so road trips are inevitably shorter, although Devon's winding lanes make distances and travelling times seem longer. Our destination, yesterday, was only 50 miles away but it felt as if we had driven much further. And we made a point of heading for places that neither of us had visited before.
We were somewhat underwhelmed by our first stopping point, which I won't name because times are hard and visitor income hard won and I'm sure that they'll get it right eventually, but we did see a fine herd of Devon Ruby Red cattle (latest additions to the herd here):
and some enormous roses:
We had been tempted by a website that made the place look welcoming and interesting, which it could have been, but somehow wasn't. A staff member we eventually found (we had to go looking for someone/anyone on arrival) didn't seem to have a clue as to why we might be there or what we should see - as enticingly promoted by the website - and it was only when we were leaving, and spotted a leaflet that would have been handy to have been given on arrival, that we discovered what we had missed.
Heigh ho. (Oh and, a plea to cafe propietors: a few shreds of lettuce, a sliver of apple - ditto orange, cucumber, onion, and tomato - a single green grape, and no dressing whatsoever do not constitute an enticing or appetising salad garnish. Why do people do this? Why the fruit? Just how long does it take to whip up a vinaigrette or mix some olive oil and lemon juice? Is it a British thing or does it happen in other parts of the world?)
The moral of this tale is, as my Friend On The Road observed: don't believe everything you read and see on a website. Photos and text can be misleading.
But, enough of the whingeing. It was a glorious day and we still had time on our hands.
'Let's go down to Hartland Point,' I suggested. So we went and were not disappointed, despite the unmistakeable deep fat fried odour of chips, wafting from the nearby hotel. (It is a truth universally acknowledged that an English person on holiday must be in want of chips. Or not.) A dramatic outcrop of rocks jutting into the sea where the Bristol Channel ends and the Atlantic Ocean begins and, its bulk rising from a shimmering horizon where the sky dissolves into the sea, Lundy Island. General all-round, breathtaking Nature at her finest.
And an unspoilt beach that makes you feel as if you had stepped back to the 1950s and into the pages of a book by Enid Blyton: